Derek McGinnis is currently working towards his Masters Degree in Social Work as he completes his internship. He has a Bachelor of Science in Business Health Care Administration. Derek is married. He and Andrea, his wife, have two sons, Sean and Ryan. In between working towards his degree, completing his internship, running triathlons and working as a volunteer with the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund (IMSFF), he holds down a full-time job. That adds up to a pretty busy lifestyle.
Back in July of 2007, Derek was medically discharged from the Navy. Derek was a Corpsman attached to 3rd LAR out of 29 Palms, California, in Fallujah, Iraq in November of 2004. What happened since that day in November of 2004 is nothing short of a miracle. Actually a series of miracles have occurred since the day a suicide bomber (VBIED) rammed an ambulance Derek was riding in on his way to get two injured Marines.
In just two years and eight months, Derek went from being a busy Navy Corpsman in one of Iraq’s hot spots to a man with a severe brain injury (TBI), shrapnel not only in his right eye, but throughout his body, severely injured hands and the amputation of his left leg above the knee.
Six weeks after Derek was injured he woke up at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital to find he not only couldn’t remember who he was, he didn’t know where he was.
Derek had suffered from severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which left him with an additional challenge to overcome in addition to his other physical injuries. Derek was unable to speak or even feed himself. Doctors needed to assess his neuromotor functions, but in order to do that, Derek needed to be taken off his narcotic pain medications. He was weaned off of them for the evaluation and later received transcutaneous electrostimulation (TENS), acupuncture and chiropractic treatments to help him deal with the pain of his injuries. Unfortunately, they did little to relieve the pain. However, Derek was undeterred and kept researching and looking for more options to help with his pain.
In December 2004, surgeons were able to replace the damaged lens in his right eye. There was quite a bit of concern when it was learned his right eye was injured, as his left eye was much weaker than the right. Thankfully that surgery was successful.
Read along in the next segment where you will see how Derek has moved beyond his injuries and is on his way to becoming the “Dad of his dreams”. Until then, I leave you with this to think about…..
If I quit the enemy wins by living my life to the fullest I am still in the fight. The enemy did not win that day they are dead and did not become martyrs because I am living my life.
MsMarti. Copyright 2008-2009 All rights reserved.